NEW YORK — Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor was his team’s on-stage representative at the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, and once Minnesota had secured the number one overall pick, he was of course giddy when discussing the possibilities.
“It’s very exciting for me and I think for our fans,” Taylor said. “There’s going to be a lot of enthusiasm [as far as] who you’re going to pick and how you’re going to do that. And that’s a process that will start now.”
Part of that process will be to consider all options — and that includes trading the pick, as the Cleveland Cavaliers did when they sent Andrew Wiggins to Minnesota in the Kevin Love deal last summer.
While Taylor doesn’t view such a scenario as likely, he did admit that the team wouldn’t take that topic off the table during any potential trade discussions.
“I think it’s got to be part of any conversation,” he said. “But tradition, I think tradition says it’s fairly unlikely to happen.”
The Timberwolves not only have a Rookie of the Year in Wiggins, but they also have Zach LaVine, who joined his teammate in earning All-Rookie honors. Adding some veteran pieces to the mix may make sense at some point, especially when the goal in Minnesota starts with simply making the playoffs.
If the right player were to be made available, an established All-Star caliber talent with some years still remaining on a reasonable contract, then Minnesota may be tempted to include an unproven player that would come with the draft’s top selection.
The Timberwolves won’t be picking up the phone and calling other teams to dangle the pick just to see what kind of offers it could potentially bring back. But they won’t rule out dealing it at this early stage of things, either.
“[You listen] because you never know what it could mean, if you could get the right one or two guys that could just change your team,” Taylor said. “You already have a bunch of young guys, so you have to look at this type of stuff. But I think it’s a very hard decision to make. I mean, I think of Cleveland. They didn’t want to do that [give up Wiggins in the trade for Love], I can tell you because I ended up negotiating with their owner. They didn’t want to do that, really, because you just don’t know how good Wiggins can be in the future. And then you’re going to hear about that forever and ever and ever.”
Taylor made it clear that the prospect of trading away a pick that could end up being a future cornerstone like Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns wasn’t his preference. But he made it just as clear that doing so would not be considered impossible.
“I think it’s probably highly unlikely,” Taylor said. “But I think it’s worth having the discussion.”